Hello! I'm a Second Grade Teacher during the school year, and I teach STEAM (STEM + Art) classes in the summer. I graduated in 2013 from The College of New Jersey with a dual major of Elementary Education and Math/Science/Technology. My vast experiences working with children have allowed me to grow as an educator and develop valuable skills in order to connect with each student individually and differentiate instruction to meet the needs of each child. I work incredibly hard to ensure that my students are being supported in all areas. I use positive reinforcement and foster students' independence to ensure that they will be successful even after we are done our lessons. I have successfully tutored a number of students outside of school since becoming a teacher. I collaborate often with students' parents to make them feel that they are a part of the learning process.
Undergraduate Degree: The College of New Jersey - Bachelors, Elementary Education and Math/Science/Technology
I enjoy reading, walking my dog, Ellie, crafting with friends and spending time with my family.
What is your teaching philosophy?
I think it is imperative that we, as educators, are continually striving to find the inner strength and talent that all students possess. Every child has his/her own individual talents, whether he/she is aware of them or not. I believe it is my job to find these strengths and help bring them out. Creating a strong connection with students helps me to be able to reach them academically. A large part of students wanting to learn is the confidence that they have in themselves and their ability to accomplish a task. Understanding that their teacher has confidence in them will help to fuel a positive association with learning. If students can tell that I care about them and their mastery of a skill, they are much more likely to put forth a good effort. My goal is to foster a love of learning in my students and give them the opportunity to discover their potential.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
To begin, I would get to know the student. We would discuss their interests, hobbies, and favorite parts about school. I plan to get a feel for the student's personality, as well as their academic behavior and tendencies. I would also do a few pre-assessments according to the subject to gauge the student's academic ability level. We would then discuss the student's goals for themselves, and write them out.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
As I'm introducing a new skill, I give the student an opportunity to investigate and share their own ideas. I use guiding questions and wait time after posing a question to give students the ability to come up with an answer or solve the problem using their own abilities. I am constantly challenging students to try something another way, simultaneously raising expectations as well as their confidence. I plan to give students the tools they need to accomplish a task when they.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I am constantly giving students positive reinforcement and celebrating the small victories. Students feel successful as they go. I also offer many opportunities for student choice, giving them an active role in their own learning.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would model the skill/concept again more slowly. I may restate the ideas in a new way, use different mediums (i.e. drawing a picture, using manipulatives) or make a comparison to something they already understand.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I model how to use different strategies from their "reading toolbox." I will show a student the way that I would comprehend the text, narrating my thought process out loud. I might suggest rereading, asking questions about the text, making a connection to the text, summarizing the text and looking back in the story for the answer.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would promote discussion that enables students to understand how this content is useful in their own lives. I would also present the information to them in a way that connects to their interests.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
In a reading session, I use mentor texts, on-level texts, evidence finder tools, reading focus cards, a "mystery" bag to for fun question answering, and animal-themed question pieces. In a math session, I have many types of math manipulatives including counting cubes, dice, 10 frames, spinners, 100 blocks, tens rods and ones cubes, puzzles, clocks, pretend money and counters.